EXCLUSIVE: TNT is developing Unknown, a one-hour drama based on the 2011 Liam Neeson action-thriller boxoffice hit. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra and produced by Dark Castle Entertainment, the film told the story of Martin Harris (Neeson), a doctor who lost his memory after a car accident and woke up to find his identity taken and the target of mysterious assassins.
Collet-Serra is attached to direct and executive produce the series, which would pick up after the events of the film and follow a new lead character that is thrust into a mind-bending adventure full of twists and turns.
Sean Finegan (Free Fall) will write the pilot and will executive produce. Karl Gajdusek (Stranger Things) and Speed Weed (Arrow) will serve as executive producers and showrunners. Ethan Erwin, Alex Mace and Hal Sadoff of Dark Castle are also executive producers, alongside Erik Olsen (The Dirt) and Neeson.
TNT has had recent success with series based on movies. Out of its three current drama series, two, veteran Animal Kingdom and sophomore Snowpiercer, both were offshoots from features. TNT’s third series, Claws, is headed to its final season this summer.
TBS’ scripted series include breakout Chad, flagship The Last O.G. and the animated American Dad!, with two live-action comedy pilots in production, Space and Kill the Orange-Faced Bear. TruTV has animated series Tacoma FD. All three TNets have retreated a bit from original scripted series while ramping up their unscripted series offerings over the last couple of years, with TNT and TBS also bulking up their sports programming as NHL is set to join their NBA and MLB coverage, and AEW is getting a major expansion with new series.
While original scripted drama is no longer the centerpiece of TNT’s brand (its Web address, tntdrama.com, is a reminder of those days), it remains an important piece of the network’s identity.
During an upfront press call last month, Brett Weitz, General Manager, TBS, TNT and truTV, spoke of the “clear brand definition” of the three linear cable networks: “TBS is about having a good time, TruTV is about having a good laugh, and TNT is a thrill ride,” he said.
Finegan is repped by Verve, Anonymous and attorney Larry Kopeikin. Gajdusek is repped by Verve, Management 360 and attorney Jill Smith. Weed is repped Verve, Art/Work and attorney James Feldman.
The Unknown movie was written by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell. It was adapted from the 2003 French novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert, published in English as Out of My Head. Released in February 2011, the film grossed $136 million on a $30 million budget. Here is a trailer: